10 Actions Mercer Marketplace 365+ is Taking to Address DEI Across Our Solution

81% of employers are focused on improving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), yet only 38% of businesses have a multi-year strategy in place to achieve this.1

While there are many ways to address DEI within your organization, your benefits program is critical to evaluate. Every one of your employees and their dependents have unique needs, and as an employer of choice, we understand how important it is to offer a benefits program that supports your employees and makes them feel valued.

Based on input from Mercer’s clients and their employees, we have continued to evolve our health and benefits services to address this critical issue. From offering comprehensive and flexible solutions beyond core protection benefits, to accessing digital healthcare solutions inherently designed to better support underserved populations, we are eager to be part of the solution. As a firm, leveraging our strength in strategic consulting and delivery for clients, we are proud to support the ongoing work with clients on DEI goals.

Here are 10 actions Mercer Marketplace 365+ is taking to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


1. We offer solutions that meet the needs of a diverse population.

Benefits are personal. Employees have unique desires in benefits programs, whether it be core protection or supplemental coverage to support their individual goals for themselves and family members. 

With Mercer Marketplace 365+, you can choose to offer everything from traditional protections like medical, dental, vision, spending accounts as well as more specialized options--including condition management solutions,  advocacy and navigation programs--to help make sure each employee is getting exactly what they need for an optimal experience with your company's insurance program. With more than 200 integrations and growing, our ecosystem is more diverse than ever to support client’s plan design goals.

Mercer Marketplace 365+ recognizes that a competitive benefits package must go beyond traditional benefits and offers solutions to support the needs of your unique and diverse population.

2. We provide access to digital health care solutions inherently designed to better support underserved populations.

Through Mercer Marketplace 365+’s partnership with Mercer’s Health Transformation Collaborative, employers choose from an ecosystem of best-in-class digital solutions to incorporate into their benefits package. 

Most digital health solutions are inherently designed to better support underserved populations as they:

  • are often provided at no or low-cost share to the employee,
  • require less time off work and greater access to providers,
  • there are reduced transportation issues, and
  • your employees can often access a more uniform quality of care.

3. We offer an omni-channel communication approach.

A significant portion of the population now prefers text or chat communication as their primary engagement touchpoint. But others still rely on live, personal communication over the phone. We understand that communication preferences vary across individuals and provide an omni-channel communication approach that includes:

  • SMS
  • Email
  • Chat/Chatbot
  •  Videos
  • Microsites
  • Virtual Benefit Fairs
  • Paper materials
  • Live support from Benefit Counselors

4. We are incorporating diversity and inclusion into our communications strategy. 

We’ve launched a new communication package that keeps diversity and inclusion in mind. Materials have been created in conjunction with Mercer’s DEI subject matter experts to ensure best practices are in place. A few of the changes made include:

  • Use of inclusive language throughout communication materials
  • Communication of benefits displaying diversity of membership
  • Awareness of reading level throughout materials to cater to a broader population

5. We support Spanish-speaking employees.

With approximately 13% of the United States population speaking Spanish at home2, we recognize the importance of offering content in Spanish. ​Mercer Marketplace 365+ supports Spanish-speaking employees in several areas of our solution:

  • Enrollment site:
    • English/Spanish toggle switch on website for employees to select preferred language
    • Spanish translation of core website content
  • Contact center:
    • Spanish-speaking benefits counselor: Access to bilingual counselor via client-specific Spanish greeting and IVR prompt (includes Spanish survey)
    • Language line in contact center
  • Spanish communications:
    • Client-specific content translation on enrollment website
    • Translation of non-system generated communications (OE guide, postcard, etc)
    • Educational videos available in Spanish

6. We can reflect a third gender on files.

Mercer Marketplace offers the option for employers to collect a third gender (U) to support individuals who do not identify with either “male” or “female”. We are positioned to transmit the collected data to carriers on eligibility files when carriers are prepared to electronically process, and we hope to expand options in the future by lobbying on behalf of our clients to accept this data.

7. We offer closed captioning on educational videos to support participants who are hearing impared.

Educational videos on our Mercer Marketplace 365+ enrollment support offer closed captioning to support participants who are deaf or hard of hearing.

8. We are designing our employee user experience with DEI in mind.

Inclusion must be embedded in a solution from early design stages. As we make ongoing updates to the Mercer Marketplace 365+ enrollment site, we are purposeful to develop an inclusive design that is both accessible and supportive for everyone who uses this platform. We're working with focus groups from various backgrounds as well as experienced user experience (UX) subject matter experts that have formal education in accessibility and inclusive practices to collect feedback on what's important in terms of accessibility, usability, or overall satisfaction.

9. We are working with several vendor partners to evaluate their solutions for DEI.

Mercer has developed a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) benefits assessment tool that contains over 100 questions to find out what solutions are currently doing and what future initiatives are on their roadmaps. We are working with several vendors offering solutions on Mercer Marketplace 365+ to assess their solutions for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are collaborating closely with vendors to identify strengths and opportunities as well as assess current initiatives. Recommendations are shared with vendors following their assessment with an opportunity to discuss further with Mercer subject matter experts. 

10. Your Mercer Marketplace 365+ team engages in frequent DEI training and working groups. 

Mercer is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. We know that when people thrive, businesses and societies thrive. That's why we are dedicated to providing opportunities for all team members through formal training programs as well as focus groups on diversity, equity, inclusion, and allyship. We believe that building a diverse workforce and inclusive culture is a business imperative.

 Please reach to a Mercer consultant today to see how our capabilities can enhance your DEI response. 


[1] Mercer. When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive, 2020. Available at: https://www.mercer.com/our-thinking/when-women-thrive.html  

[2] https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/united-states-population

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